Devoting Myself to Death on Day of the Dead: a Santa Muerte Devotee in Rural Oaxaca

Abby describes how she watched, initially a non-believer herself, as her family and the whole community came together to care for a statue of Santa Muerte during a hurricane and eventually built a large chapel that would come to house many statues where la Santa would be celebrated on Day of the Dead and Abby would come to realise she was devoted to death.

The Materiality of Mother Muerte in Michoacan

The Tangibility of Devotion to Saint Death Photo Essay by Professor R. Andrew Chesnut and Doctor Kate Kingsbury, All photos and text copyrighted. Do not use without permission of authors. Despite the Church's insistence that Santa Muerte is satanic and that her devotees are heretics most Mexican Santa Muerte devotees consider themselves Catholic. They see … Continue reading The Materiality of Mother Muerte in Michoacan

At Death`s Door in Cancun:  Meeting Santa Muerte Witch Yuri Mendez

By Anthropologist, Dr. Kate Kingsbury, D.Phil Oxford University. Yuri Mendez is a self-identified witch (bruja) and shaman (curandera) who ten years ago following a dream of Santa Muerte established the largest shrine dedicated to death in Cancun. She describes herself as `bruja de las tres virtudes` or `witch of the three virtues` and works with … Continue reading At Death`s Door in Cancun:  Meeting Santa Muerte Witch Yuri Mendez

Mighty Mexican Mothers: Santa Muerte as Female Empowerment in Oaxaca

As the sole female folk saint of death in the Americas, Santa Muerte has a special appeal to women, especially disprivileged Mexican mothers . In the piece below anthropologist Dr. Kate Kingsbury* considers the contours of devotion among rural women in coastal Oaxaca. -Rural Oaxaca, the outskirts of Pochutla, Mexico When we got home one … Continue reading Mighty Mexican Mothers: Santa Muerte as Female Empowerment in Oaxaca

British Anthropologist Discovers Santa Muerte in Bone-Chilling Toronto

Since going public in 2001 devotion to Santa Muerte has spread rapidly beyond Mexico to the four corners of the globe. In the piece below anthropologist Dr. Kate Kingsbury* reveals the robust presence of the Bony Lady in Toronto, Canada’s largest city.   In the middle of bustling Toronto, Kensington Market offers respite from the … Continue reading British Anthropologist Discovers Santa Muerte in Bone-Chilling Toronto